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April 24, 2015

Centre ‘Meddling’ in Education Institutions: Sugata Bose

Eminent historian and Trinamool Congress MP Sugata Bose today alleged “meddling and unwarranted interference” by government in the affairs of educational institutions and advocated the need for respect to teachers and students.

He also alleged that “ideologues” instead of scholars were being inducted into the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). Participating in a discussion on Demands for Grants of the HRD Ministry, he said there should be a “great deal of respect for students and teachers”. He referred to discussion and public debate on how some premier scientific and technological institutions are being adversely affected by “meddling and unwarranted interferences in appointments”.

Citing recent instances, including the resignation of IIT Delhi Director, Dr Bose said the HRD Ministry should be “respectful” to the country’s eminent scientists. “Government should be an enabler and not interfere in the autonomous functioning of these institutions,” he said. Some bureaucrats, who understand the education system well, are fleeing the ministry and “I would like to know the reasons why this is happening,” the Trinamool member said.

Further, Dr Bose said as a historian, he was “dismayed” that at ICHR, “ideologues are packed rather than scholars”. “I would wish that a moment comes that we have genuine historians on the Committee of ICHR, a Council that deserves no funding from the central government, which of course comes out of the taxes paid by the ordinary citizens of this country,” he said.

Urging the government to change course, Bose said the government should do away with the attitude of indifference and “introduce great deal of respect for students and teachers”. “Don’t perpetuate a situation of disenchantment and disillusionment,” he stressed.

Referring to the cut in budgetary allocations, Dr Bose said it seems the “Finance Ministry was punishing HRD Ministry”. This government is friendly to corporates and hostile to farmers, Dr Bose remarked.

To address faculty shortages at higher education institutions, Bose said the government should look at bringing in foreign professors. Taking a dig, Dr Bose said the HRD Ministry could well be renamed “Bricks and Mortar Ministry” as it has not set up proper infrastructure.